We're still working stories on the Terry Pegula front but didn't want to ignore the fact the Sabres actually had their first practice after the all-star break Monday afternoon in Amherst. (Read our latest Pegula story here).
The workout lasted a little more than an hour and was a tough one. Lindy Ruff said the team will work on systems and special teams over the next three days and will also throw in some scrimmage-type stuff in preparation for Friday's game at Pittsburgh -- which will play twice before the Sabres hit town.
"In that case, they'll be game-ready," Ruff said. "For us, it's up to the coaches that we get enough combative, enough game conditioning-type drills in to get ready to play."
Injuries: Tim Connolly (hip) and Patrick Kaleta (hand) practiced fully, with Ruff saying he felt Connolly looked better but Kaleta was still limited and not likely to play Friday at this point. Steve Montador, who crawled off the ice early in overtime last Tuesday in Ottawa, was fine. Thomas Vanek and Craig Rivet were home with the flu. Paul Byron and Matt Ellis are back in Portland for now but could easily be recalled if needed.
The break: The Sabres seem willing to enjoy the fact they don't play until Friday while many teams have two games before then. In fact, there are 14 games on the schedule Tuesday night. But once Friday rolls around, things really heat up for Buffalo with 12 games over the final 22 days in February and nine more in the first 15 days in March.
"We basically play every other day for the rest of the season," Jason Pominville said. "It's going to be a grind. The rest is good."
Tyler Ennis: The Sabres' lone all-star said he had a great time in Raleigh hanging out mostly with Oilers rookie Tyler Hall and Anaheim frosh Cam Fowler. Ennis said he got an autographed stick from Daniel Briere and enjoyed talking with Detroit veteran Nicklas Lidstrom. He said he did not hear the Carolina PA announcer introducing him as from the Florida Panthers.
The Sabres return to practice in HSBC Arena Tuesday morning.